Scoping summer cinema
Published: Tuesday, April 10, 2012
Updated: Tuesday, April 10, 2012 00:04
To avoid the sweat and sun of the Florida summer, one might retreat to the crisp air conditioning of the nearest cinema.
The season brings about some of the year’s biggest blockbuster films. This summer, moviegoers can look forward to action, sci-fi and superhero stories galore.
To help you decide which films to look out for, The Oracle runs down the upcoming sequels, reboots and brand new adventures coming to the big screen.
“The Avengers” — May 4
Since Marvel gave “Iron Man” and “The Incredible Hulk” new looks in 2008, comic book fans have clamored for a film that would bring a few favorite heroes together. Teaser scenes scattered throughout the solo films for Iron Man, the Hulk, Thor and Captain America have set a course for a culminating film to bring their storylines together.
Mark Ruffalo joins the party late to fill in for Edward Norton as Bruce Banner, the Incredible Hulk. The rest of the cast includes Robert Downey Jr. as Iron Man, Chris Hemsworth as Thor, Scarlett Johansson as Black Widow, Samuel L. Jackson as Nick Fury, Chris Evans as Captain America and newcomer Jeremy Renner as Hawkeye.
“The Dictator” — May 11
In 2006, Sacha Baron Cohen became “Borat,” a stammering tourist from Kazakhstan, and took the box office by storm, grossing more than $230 million by bringing hidden camera tactics to the big screen. His 2009 follow-up, “Bruno,” didn’t quite live up to the previous film, but Cohen takes one more stab at winning over American consumers with “The Dictator.”
Inspired by real-life dictators Saddam Hussein and Moammar Gadhafi, “The Dictator” takes a humorous look at the life of an absolute ruler. Even the Paramount Pictures synopsis is sarcastic: “The heroic story of a dictator who risks his life to ensure that democracy would never come to the country he so lovingly oppressed.”
This time, Cohen is rocking a massive beard and poofy hair as the military overlord of the fictional nation the Republic of Wadiya. Though this latest tale isn’t a mockumentary, he has joined with talented satirists Anna Faris and John C. Reilly.
“Moonrise Kingdom” — May 25
The latest of Wes Anderson’s dryly humored feature films, “Moonrise Kingdom” tells the story of two enamored children who run away from their island town in New England and the search that ensues to find them.
Prior to its Memorial Day release, the film will open at Cannes Film Festival on May 16. “Moonrise Kingdom” boasts a star-studded cast with the likes of Bruce Willis, Bill Murray and Edward Norton.
“Men in Black III” — May 25
Those looking for more aliens and explosions during Memorial Day weekend should check out the third installment in the “Men in Black” series. Will Smith returns as Agent J in a sequel that sends him back in time to prevent the murder of Agent K, played by Tommy Lee Jones in the present and Josh Brolin in the past.
Brolin does a solid lookalike job playing Agent K in the ’60s, during the first years of the MIB’s existence. However, fans of the first two films might be disappointed knowing the theme song, usually sung by the film’s charismatic star, has been redone by Pitbull.
“Prometheus” — June 8
In the summer of 1979, director Ridley Scott tantalized viewers’ imaginations with “Alien.” This summer, he’ll attempt to recapture that same magic with the sci-fi adventure “Prometheus.”
Set in 2085, a space crew aboard the ship Prometheus sets out to explore an ancient alien civilization that might lead to the origins of human existence. According to totalfilm.com, Scott said the film does have some connection to his popular “Alien” franchise: “By the end of the third act you start to realize there’s a DNA of the very first alien, but none of the subsequent aliens.”
“Rock of Ages” — June 15
Based on a Broadway musical of the same name, “Rock of Ages” tells the story of two lovers who meet during the ’80s rock movement.
Tom Cruise plays Stacee Jaxx, the lead singer of the rock band “Arsenal.” Russell Brand narrates and plays a club manager. Bryan Cranston plays the mayor of Los Angeles, while Alec Baldwin, Mary J. Blige, Paul Giamatti, Catherine Zeta-Jones and Will Forte fill out the ensemble cast. The film features the music of bands such as Bon Jovi, Def Leppard and Foreigner.